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John Oliver's book of parody among the most "challenged" works of the ALA


Associated Press

Published 8:48 et ET 8 April 2019


The company received criticism for the portrayal of slavery in the children's book "A birthday cake for George Washington".
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NEW YORK (AP) – Not everyone was amused by John Oliver's exit of a picture book by Vice President Mike Pence's wife and daughter.

"Last week tonight with John Oliver presents a day in the life of Marlon Bundo," in which Pence's family bunny turns out to be gay, was among the most contested books in 2018 in the country's public libraries. The best-selling parody was ranked second in the list of "challenged" books compiled by the American Library Association, with some complaining about its homosexual content and political point of view.

Oliver's book, credited to the writer Jill Twiss, was a response to the "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo" by Pences and to the conservative social point of view of the family. The Pences themselves did not object publicly, and their daughter Charlotte Pence even claimed to have purchased a copy of the book "Last Week Tonight", noting that the proceeds went to AIDS charities and suicide prevention for young LGBTQs.

The library association announced Monday that "George" by Alex Gino, a medium-sized novel about a transgender child, was number 1 on his list. Others have included Angie Thomas's best seller on a teenage girl whose friend was shot by the police, "The Hate U Give" (drug use, swear words, "anti-policeman" bias); and Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series (same-sex couple, "encouraging destructive behavior").

More: Watch the upcoming adventures of Marlon Bundo, the pet rabbit of Vice President Mike Pence

The report also includes "Drama" by Raina Telgemeier, "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, "The overall winner of Sherman Alexie" "The Absolutely True Diary of a part-time Indian", Mariko and Jillian Tamaki "This One Summer" and Judy Schachner's "Skippyjon Jones" series The books included in the list of previous years range from "To Kill to Mockingbird" to the "Harry Potter" series.

ALA usually lists 10 books, but included 11 this year because two were awarded for 10th place: "This Day in June" by Gayle E. Pitman and Kristyna Litten and "Two Boys Kissing "by David Leviathan, both cited for LGBTQIA + content and both of those burned last October in Orange City, Iowa, by the director of a" pro-family "group called Rescue the Perishing.

Deborah Caldwell Stone, temporary director of the Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Office, said that the protests of parents and other local residents about gay content reflect a "refusal" because "writers work to be more inclusive than underrepresented or marginalized communities ".

The list is part of the "Report of the Libraries of the American State" of the association and arrives at the beginning of the National Library Week, which begins on Wednesday. ALA defines a "challenge" as a "formal written complaint filed in a library or school that requires materials to be removed due to the content or appropriateness". The list is based on news and accounts presented by the libraries, although the ALA believes that many challenges are not reported. The association monitored 347 challenges last year, compared to 356 in 2017.

"The number has been fairly constant over the past few years," Stone said.

ALA did not have a number for books actually taken from library shelves or transferred to an adult section.

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2019/04/08/john-olivers-parody-book-among-alas-most-challenged-works/3398232002/


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